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Full text of "An answer to Mr. William Hewitt’s tract against the Latter-day Saints by Parley P. Pratt"

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" Tt d* qreally err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor (he power 
of God" — Jesus Christ. 



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Mr. Hewitt, in bis preface, informs the public, that 
the Latter-Day Saints are " headed by a fanatic of the 
name of Joseph Smith." . 

Now, if Mr. H. knows Mr. Smith to be a fanatic, he 
is to be blamed for not telling the public how he knows 
it : But if he does not know it, he has run a very great 
risk of condemnation for judging rashly, and perhaps 
unjustly. We would advise him to repent of this sin as 
soon as possible, and remember that Jesus has forbidden 
hira to judge rash judgment. 

He calls the Saints the " Would-be only -holy -people of 
God. 1 ' Whether he means by this,that we wish all others 
to be unholy ; or whether he only means that we, as a 
people, aim to be holy, I cannot tell ! If he means the 
latter, we feel truly grateful for so high a compliment 
upon our intentions; but if he means the former, we 
must deny the charge, for we truly wish all people to be 

He accuses one Elder Smith with wilful error,' by say- 
ing, "He (Smith) knoivs his house is built upon the 
sand, while mine is built upon the rock" &c. 

This is very hard judging indeed ! Who that is bound 
to eternity, would choose to remain upon a sandy founda- 
tion instead of a rock, and even do it knowingly ? I 
dare not even judge Mr. Hewitt in this manner. I am 
persuaded that if he knew his foundation to be a sandy 
one, he would gladly remove to a rock. 

I would here remind him that, not every one who 
saith Lord, Lord, is to enter into the kingdom of God ; 
but he that doeth the will of God. None are built upon 
the rock but those that are built upon the truth. Let 
him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall. 
I hope, for Mr. H.'s own sake, he will repent of these 
hasty and rash judgments. — So much for his preface. 

The pamphlet then commences by giving a general 
review of false prophets and imposters, who have in turn 
deceived the people in different ages; as if mingling 
these with the Latter-Day Saints would prove anything 
against them. The only thiug in which he seems to 
think Mr. J. Smith will compare with them is, that he 
has had " wonderful things revealed to him by an 
Angel" Now, if this is to be the test, then, it will 
apply equally to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, 
Manoah, Daniel, Joseph, and Mary, the Shepherds, 
Zecheriah, Paul, Peter, John, and a thousand other 
saints, — who all professed to have wonderful things 
revealed to them by angels ; therefore they were all 
condemned by Mr. R.'s rule, as much as Mr. Smith, 
and their followers were as likely to be deceived as the 
Latter-Day Saints ! 

But Mr. Hewitt wonders greatly that " a new sect 
should arise in the \§th century *' I would enquire of 
him, Why a sect might not arise in the 19th century, as 
well as in the 18th ? — (Methodism arose in the 18th.) 
Are the people -of the 19t.h century so wise and good 
that they are not capable of any improvement ? 

Mr. H. gives the following as part of our sentiments, 
(I quote from memory) : — "That there is nothing which 
had a begining but what will have an end." — " That 
the scriptures are to be taken in their literal sense/*— - 
" That Paradise is not heaven." — " That England will 
be destroyed in the present generation. That Jesus 
Christ will come and destroy the wicked ; and they, the 
Latter-Day Saints, and they only, will reign with-him on 
the earth." — "That they are the only people who preach 
the gospel, and that all others preach nothing but damna- 
ble heresies." — "That, there is but one person in the 
Godhead, and that he has hands, feet, eyes, ears,' nose, 
mouth," &c. — And "That all persons must be plunged 
over head in water by them, or they saved." 

As to the literal sense, we mean nothing more nor less 
than this, that the scriptures should be taken in the com^ 
mon, plain, easy sense, the same as language found in 
any other book. Every language has its figures, but 
they are such as are definitely understood ; for instance, 

the terms dog, shepherd, sheep, wolves, goats, &c, 
when used in scripture as applying to human beings, 
are well understood by all readers, and no persons have 
been known to differ as to the meaning of them. As to 
prophesy, it has thu s far had an exact literal accomplish- 
ment, and no other; therefore, we are safe in believing 
that those predictions which are yet future in their ap- 
plication will be literally fulfilled. 

. As to the parables of our Lord, they are generally' in- 
terpreted by' him that spake them, and those which are 
hot thus interpreted will need a revelation from their 
author. The Saints have no objections to the scriptures 
being explained by the gift of inspiration, which is the 
only true and safe expounder of scripture. 

Paradise is heaven ; but it is not the heaven of those 
who are raised from the dead, but the place of rest for 
disembodied spirits to await the resurrection : "In my 
father's house are many mansions;" says Jesus. — Paul 
tells of three heavens. 

As to England being destroyed in the present genera- 
tion, the Saints hold to no such principle. The people 
of England may repent, and never be destroyed ; but if 
they do not repent, they will perish, in common with all 
nations who are unprepared for the second advent of the 
Messiah : For lo ! the time is, near — very near, when 
every one who does not give heed to Jesus Christ " will 
be destroyed from among the people." This applies 
equally to England, and all other places. r , 

We do affirm " that very shortly the sun shall be 
darkened, and the moon turned to blood ; and Christ 
will appear in flaming fire, to destroy all the wicked 
from off the face of the earth;' and that, then, the 
Latter-Day Saints will reign with Christ a thousand 
years; but to say that " they only" will reign with him, 
is very erroneous : for truly, all the Former Day Saints 
will reign with him also. — (See Rev. 20,) 

.To say, "we'* are the only people who preach the 
gospel, and that all others preach nothing but damnable 
heresies," is very far from truth. We say this, — That 
there is but one true gospel, one Lord, , one faith, one 
baptism, and one holy Spirit, revealed among men; 

anil that all who differ from that one system are in error, 
and have cause to repent. But after setting forth that 
owe gospel, we leave the people to draw their own con* 
elusion as to who comes up to the standard, and who 
does not. But to say that " all others preach nothing* 
but damnable heresies,* 1 wo old be false indeed ; for we 
presume our friend Mr. H. preaches faith in Christ, and; 
repentance towards God ; and if he does, such doctrine 
is not damnable, but as far as it goes it is good. 

There- are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Father and Son 
are in the express image of each other, aud both have 
"hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth," as every- 
body ought to know who has read the old and new testa- 
ments. And man is created in their image, or likeness. 

If Mr. H. worships any other Deity than the one above 
described, and the Holy Ghost which proceeds from the 
Father and the Son, then he is guilty of idolatry. 

To say that all penitent believers are required by 
the gospel to be baptised by immersion in water, in 
name of the Lord, is perfectly correct. There is nothing 
else which is baptism, or can be called so. To baptise- 
or to bury are terms of the same import. This is one of 
the commandments of Jesus Christ himself. He who 


sand. To say that " all must be thus baptised by the 
hatter-Day Saints, or be damned,*' is false. All who 
were baptised by the former-day Saints will be saved, if 
they endured to the end in keeping all the command- 
ments of Jesus. But we do teach, that all those who 
have trusted to infant baptism, or all who have trusted 
to any other form but a burial, or all who have been 
immersed without authority from God, in the administra- 
tor, are required to be baptised, and God has sent us 
to preach repentance and baptism, and to administer it, 
and has given us the pattern ; and whether it is better to 
obey God or man judge ye. *. \ ' M 

Mr. Hewitt says, " there is no scripture for putting men 
overhead in water." To this we reply, -that it says; 
"bcry," in speaking of baptism. — (Rom. vi.) But 

perhaps Mr. H. knows some way to bury persons, ami 
leave their heads out ! But we are so simple as to take 
it for granted that their head is a part of their person ! 

There is one other charge, on the 5th page, which we 
had like to have overlooked. It is this : Sir. H. says, 
the Saints hold that " there is nothing which had a be- 
ginning, but what will have an end.*' 

I have been an official member of this church for up- 
wards of 10 years, and never heard that doctrine before ; 
but as it is a principle of philosophy instead of religion, 
I shall not here judge of it. 

Thus, Mr. H. has imagined to himself a system which 
he is pleased to term a " newly-formed system of sav- 
ing grace" ,This system he charges upon the Latter- 
Day Saints ; but I must say his imaginary Latter-Day 
Saintism, is as new to me as it is to him. I now exhort 
him, if he has wilfully falsified our system, to repent of 
the same; and if he has done it ignorantly, he would do 
well to repent ; and in either case, he would do well to 
make the acknowledgment as public as the offence. I 
would inform him that our columns are open to publish 
any thing of that nature ; and if he aims at justice and 
sincerity he will rejoice to do so. He will then be in 
that respect a " practical Christian," 

The terms " wolves," "brain-sick fellows " &c., applied 
to those who believe in, and strive to serve, Jesus Christ, 
do not in our opinion accord with " practical Chris- 
tianity ;" but, however, we leave it to his own conscience, 
and to God. 

Mr. H. quotes "Mr. Simpson" in order to prove that 
there has been no necessity for angelic appearances since 
the days of the apostles; but that the angels now minister 
" in a secret and invisible manner," Now, whether he 
means that " Mr. Simpson" is an inspired prophet, 
who has been sent to do away fhe gospel dispensation, 
and change the new testament order of things; or whether 
he only means to institute the traditions and command- 
ments of men, and thus make void the word of the Lord, 
is not for us to say ; but we would just inform him, that 
we had much rather have a quotation from Christ, or 
his prophets and apostles, than to believe Mr. Simpson. 

u In vain they worship me ; teaching for doctrines the 
commandments of men/' says Jesus. 

Again, if the angels minister only in a "secret and 
invisible way," who knows it, or who has witnessed it ? 
It seems to me that there can be no evidence for it, ex- 
cept the revelation which " Mr. Simpson 1 and Mr. H. 
have revealed to the world ; and as their new revelation 
on this subject contradicts all experience and scripture, 
I, for one, beg leave to reject it. 

Mr. H. puts the following question : " Now, if all 
men were wrong, as they, (the Latter-Day Saints,) 
affirm, and God thought proper to send an angel to, 
convince them of the error of their ways, would he not 
have sent him to more than one man P" We answer 
ye3 ; the Lord sent him to four men, to begin the testi- 
mony, and to many others since. — (See the testimony 
appended to the Book of Mormon.) 

Mr. H. quotes, " If they hear not Moses, nor the 
prophets, nor God's dear Son, neither will they be per- 
suaded though one sould arise from the dead' 1 This 
passage is strikingly verified in the person of Mr. Hewitt. 
He has had Moses — he has had the prophets — he has 
had the testimony of Jesus — and now, last of all, one from 
the dead. And still, "it appears so absurd that he 
cannot believe it !" The reason which he renders for not 
believing is, that Mr. Simpson has said to the contrary. . 

Now, if all the saints in all ages, and under all dis- 
pensations, were wrong in believing such things, and 
God has seen fit to reveal to Mr. Simpson* that there is 
to be no visible appearances of angels, then why has he 
not revealed it to more than one man ? ! ! ! 

Mr. H. quotes the 2ist of Luke, in relation to the signs 
of the second coming, and applies it all to the' destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem : but he should recollect, that in 
connection with these signs, in that subject we have the 
following, — "Then shall all the tribes of the earth 
mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in 
the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." 

Dare any man pervert the plain word of God so far as 
to say that this was all fulfilled at the destruction of 
Jerusalem ? 

The term tf tins, generation" as it stands connected 
with the foregoing texts, applies to the gerieratiou which 
learns the parable of the fig-tree, by seeing the signs 
there foretold, begin to come to pass. That same gene- 
ration will not all pass away, till the Son of Man comes. 
Any other application of it will lead to infidelity. 

Mr. H. quotes the saying of Christ, " My kingdom is 
not of this world ;" and applies it to the time of his glo- 
rious reign on the earth, as well as to his first coming : 
this is a wrong application altogether. The text applies 
in the then present tense ; that is, to the age and dispen- 
sation when it was spoken. 

A text the very opposite of the above, applies to the 
millennial dispensation, viz. : " The kingdoms of this 
world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his 
Christ." — Revelations. 

Mr. H. quotes the parable of the wheat and the tares, 
and that both are to " grow together till the harvest," in 
order to show that the wicked will remain upon the earth 
mingled with the righteous until the end of time, or the 
last dny. 

Here again he stumbles, for want of giving heed to the 
manner in which the Saviour applied terms. 

The term " world" is frequently used in scripture as 
applying to the wicked — to that portion of the people 
who were not of the kingdom of God. For instance : 
"Ye are not of the world, therefore shall the world 
hate you." 

When Christ comes, and cuts off the wicked from the 
face of the earth — then will be the end of the wicked — 
the end of the world, or the end of the present corrupt 
order of things. Therefore, in connexion with, or pre- 
vious to, his second advent, the wheat must be gathered 
out from the tares, and the tares be bound in bundles 
ready for the burning. See Z'echeriah xiv. chap., Isaiah 
xxiv. chap., also Acts iii. chap., Malichi last chap., and 
Isaiah xi. chap. AIL these, and many other passages 
must be broken, unless the Lord cuts off wickedness at 
the commencement of the millennium, and leaves the 
righteous in possession of the earth. 

Perhaps after a careful examination of the matter, it 


will be found, that the people can believe Jesus Christ, 
and " these strangers," too, as Mr. H. calls the Latter- 
Day Saints. 

In regard to bis observations on the Godhead, we 
have nothing to reply ; only that he has entirely mis- 
represented us, (perhaps unintentionally). Whoever 
reads our books, or hears us preach, knows that we be- 
lieve in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as one God. 
That the Son has flesh and bones, and that the Father 
is a spirit. , But we would inform Mr. H. that a perso- 
nage of spirit has its organized formation, its body and 
parts, its individual identity, its eyes, mouth, ears, &c., 
and that it is in the image or likeness of the temporal 
body, although not composed of such gross materials as 
flesh and bones ; hence it is said that Jesus is " the ex- 
press image of his (the father's) person." 

We would next enquire of Mr. H. how he would 
have us apply a scripture which is neither "emblema- 
tical/' " parabolic," " metaphorical," nor yet literal ? 
Perhaps he may have some key, which we know not of ! 
As to Christ's saying, in relation to hating father, mo- 
ther, &c, it is so plain when taken in its connection, 
that I believe no persons have mistaken it. The com- 
mandment to "take no thought for the morrow" (in 
regard to food and clothing) is brought forward by Mr. 
H. as proof that the scriptures do not mean what they 
say. To which we reply, that if there is any passage in 
the bible which is to be taken literally, it is the one just 
quoted. But the next question is, who does this text 
apply to ? To those whom Christ sent into all the 
world to preach the gospel to every creature. It would 
be as absurd to apply every scripture to every body, as 
it would be for every body to built an ark because 
Noah was commanded to build one/ 

The same remarks will apply with equal force to the 
text which he quotes in favour of the drunkard. The 
text (" drink ye, be drunken and spue,") will apply only 
to certain nations to whom the prophet addressed himself. 

Mr. H. (speaking of the rich man) says, according 
to our doctrine, " the eye of the needle must either be 
made larger or the camel smaller, or the rich man in 


another world will be consigned to everlasting punish- 
ment." This parable applied to a rich man, is very 
easily got along with by us. We never make the eye of 
the needle larger, but rather, the camel smaller; that is, 
we' teach the rich men to impart to the poor all they have 
to spare ; and by so doing they will be as poor as their 
brethren. And if they do not do this, they will be 
damned, if Christ's words are true in relation to " depart 
ye cursed," &c, " for I was an hungered and ye gave- 
me no meat," &c. 

If they do impart, as the gospel requires, then of 
course the camel is made smaller. — To men, this seems 
almost impossible but it is possible for God even to 
open the heart of a rich man. 

Mr. H. sa^s of the Saints, " If their assertions be true, 
then they have authority to preach the gospel to dogs, 
cats, mules, and other beasts, as well as men." He then 
quotes, " Go ye," &e. " and preach the gospel to every 

In answer to this, we would ask Mr. H. what is the 
most literal, plain, simple meaning of that text, when 
taken in its connection ? Suppose, for instance, her 
Majesty should command some persons to go into all 
England, and teach the laws of England to every crea- 
ture ; how would the word creature be applied in law ? 
Answer — It would apply to every creature who is capable 
of receiving the instruction spoken of in the commission. 

Among a thousand jurors, all would agree that this 
would be its most obvious and literal meaning. 

The language of scripture is to be understood as similar 
language would be in other books. , , 

Mr. H. next quotes John vi. 35. — " He that cometk 
unto me shall never hunger, and he that believeth shall 
never thirst ;" he then says, i( Hake this temporally and., 
I ask, do ice ever feel in want of food, §"c. ? I answer 
yes. Then take it spiritually,' do we ever feel hunger^* 
ings and thirstings after righteousness P I answer yes; 
and blessed are they that do, for they shall be filled;. 
Where then is their literal meaning P" 

To the above questions we reply, that he has answered 
them himself by the quotation, " Blessed are they that 


do, for they shall be filled" If Mr. H. will have pa- 
tience till this promise is fulfilled, then, of course, he 
will acknowledge the literal meaning of the text. 

He says, according to our doctrine, "Jesus Christ is a 
god, a king, an angel, a man, a tree, a plant, a root, a 
rose, a lily, a gate, a door, a way, a stone." 

To this we reply, that he is a god, a king, an angel, a 
man, a tree, (viz. a vine,) a plant, a root, a gate, a door, 
away, a stone. But as to the rose or lily, we know of 
no such terms as applying to Christ. Solomon's Song 
mentions such terms to be sure; but there is not a word 
about Christ in the whole song,* nor the most distant 
allusion to him. 

Mr. H. says, " the Saints cannot find one passage in 
the Scriptures that says that any should be put over 
head in ivater" 

This we acknowledge : But, then, we find Paul 
makes use of the word bury, in speaking of baptism. 
But doubtless he was quite willing for them to be buried 
with their heads out of water, if Mr. H. can tell how 
to do so ; but, for my own part, I have not the know- 
ledge how to bury a person by baptism, without burying 
their head ! ! 1 

Mr. H. on the 10th page makes an assertion, that in- 
fants must be lost for ever, because they cannot believe. 
This doctrine is so horrible, that it seems to us to need 
no reply : therefore, we pass on. He next refers the 
reader to Abraham Scott's pamphlet, and Daniel Isaac's 
work on Infant Baptism. I would much sooner take 
the word of God, than the words of Messrs. Scott and 
Isaac, and I would recommend my readers to do the 
same. Mr. H says, immersion is in vain, we must " be 
born again'' But, I 'would enquire, what we are to be 
born again of ? ! ! Christ says it is of water and of the 
spirit. But Mr. H. would make part of this command- 
ment void, and by this means he would deprive us of the 
other part. t 

On the 10th page Mr. H. compares the doctrine of 
his society with the doctrine of Paul, and tries to make 
out that they are both the same. But it seems plain to 
me that Paul taught that the commandments of Jesa# 

12 . 

were essential, and Mr. H. preaches that some of them 
are not. 

Paul taught the gifts and power of God, and Mr. H., 
or at least many others of the Methodist society, teach 
that they (the gifts of the Spirit), are done away. But 
still I am willing that every one should judge for them- 
selves. As to him and his society, they stand or fall to 
their own master. • 

In regard to their getting the Holy Ghost by praying, 
while neglecting the ordinances of God, we do affirm 
that it is a chimera ; for Christ says, " Why call ye me 
Lord, Lord, and do' not the things that I say." "In 
vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the com- 
mandments of men." 

Mr. H. enquires of us, What is the Gospel ? We 
reply, That it is the message which God has sent for the 
salvation of men ; or, to enter into particular points, it 
was, that men should believe in Jesus Christ, repent, and 
be baptised in his name ; and, on these conditions, they 
were promised remission of sins, and -the gift of the 
Holy Ghost ; which would cause them to dream dreams, 
see visions, and prophesy, and would impart to them 
many gifts. This gift was usually received by the laying 
on of hands, and prayer in the name of Jesus — after 

On the 11th page, he expresses his astonishment that 
men should join another system, after being blessed of 
God, &c. But it seems to us, that the more a person is 
blessed, the more obligation they are under to walk in 
every truth, as fast as it is made known to them. No 
doubt many persons have been sincere in all orders, and 
have really been blessed of God, more or less ; and so 
far from changing their religion, (I mean the true part 
of it), by joining the Saints, they bring it all along with 
them, only throwing away that part of it which is er- 
roneous, and in turn receiving much more religion 
than they had before.